Daniel Haggett

London based Lighting Cameraman / DoP 

RED will soon be releasing the Red Raven, priced at the lower end of the range, is it worth considering?

REDs typically have pluses and minuses for the type of work I do.  

Pluses:

  • Amazing slow mo speeds
  • Very high resolution
  • A great camera for commercial work

Minuses:

  • Ergonomics.  REDs are not usually aimed at the run and gun shooter.
  • Work flow.  Television work flow often isn't ready for 5k RAW.

 

On the list of minuses you could usually add price, but this isn't the case with the Raven.  The camera will retail at 6000 USD for the brain, or 10k for a basic kit.  

The first and most interesting thing about this camera is the slow mo rates.  At HD the camera will shoot 120fps at 4.5k!! At HD it will do 240fps.  

The other good thing about this camera is that you can trust it will have a good image.  The sensor is the same as (or at least based on) the more expensive Dragon camera.  

Below is some Red Raven footage

Due to the modular nature of REDs they work really well on drones and brushless gimbals.  At a guess I would say the Raven would fit pretty nicely on the Ronin m or Movi M5.  It also has basic auto focus, which might be helpful for a solo operator with a gimbal or steadi cam.

Another really good feature is that it can shoot Apple Pro Res at 4:2:2.  The good thing about this is, you could shoot 4.6 RAW for high end corporates and commercials, and shoot 4:2:2 Pro Res for quick turn around TV shows.

Before you rush out and buy one, here are some of the minuses from my point of view:

1) No internal ND.  This is a really hassle for me.  I don't always want to have a matte box on, and I don't always want to be carrying round a set of ND filters.

2) Audio.  There are no XLR ports as standard.  Of course this can be solved, but then it's more cash.

3) Media.  Red media cards are not cheap.  It's only a small thing, but all these extras add up.  The beauty with most other types of media cards is the more common they become, the cheaper they get. Just look at how the price of CF and SD cards have dropped over the last 3 years. 

If you are looking for a camera that looks great, will shoot amazing slow mo and will fit on your Ronin, this could be a good one for you.  If you can live with the lack of internal ND you'll have an amazing camera at a pretty reasonable price.